2020 Budget will help spur Penang’s growth: CM

12 Oct 2019 / 10:20 H.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang sees the 2020 Budget which was tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in Parliament as one which can sustain growth and create more jobs for the state which is among the highest tax contributors in Malaysia.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pix) said Penang will benefit from the funds allocated towards producing more technical and vocational trained graduates, as it can meet the needs for skilled labour.

Digital transformation and 5G connectivity are agendas which can boost Penang’s vision to become a smart city by 2030.

Allocating more funds to promote tourism and to reward Penang Hill with a RM100 million new cable car system is also a boon for the leisure industry.

Also, the move to fix the toll fare at RM7 for both Penang Bridges – Penang Bridge and the Sultan Abdul Halim Muad’zam Shah – is one that will benefit users of both bridges and help ease congestion, said Chow.

Chow was speaking after signing the first major infrastructure project to take place under the proposed Penang Transport Master Plan, which is the Bandar Baru Air Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass elevated highway.

The 5.7km road, which will cost RM851million is the second package of the three paired roads package under the RM6.3billion cross channel undersea tunnel project.

Chow signed the sub-agreement to initiate the project with the project delivery partner Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) chairman Tan Sri Azmi Khalid at Komtar.

Meanwhile, an executive committee member of the nongovernmental organisation (NGO) umbrella body – Penang Forum expressed disappointment that the alternative approach towards easing congestion was neglected.

The member, who preferred not to be named, said that many observers do not see the project being completed within three years.

“Actually a cost overrun may occur as it is difficult to construct things in Penang due to the sheer congestion and over – development which has taken place. There needs to be diversions, land acquisitions and mitigations,“ he said.

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